13th September 2019
by Charlotte Wilson
Today is Friday 13th. Spooky right? Well according to a number of songs, books and horror movies, yes, it is rather scary. But, why?
After doing some digging at Pistachio HQ, no one really knows why Friday 13th is such a feared, spooky day, but alas, it is. So, after some thorough(ish) research curtesy of our equally creepy friends at Google (other intrusive search engines are available) we’ve sought out 13 facts about Friday 13th, just for you…
1. The Bible (might have) started it
Even though it’s not like Christianity, or any organised religion, to inspire and encourage superstition and fear 🙃 – apparently part of the superstition surrounding Friday 13th comes from the Bible. Ooops.
So let’s break it down, during the last supper – that infamous night where Judas (notorious snitch and all round hippy-haired villain) betrayed Jesus (all round nice-guy, and hippy-haired revolutionary) – there were 13 guests. SHOCKING that anyone making a living from following an unemployed man around all day could afford a dining table that seats 13 guests, I know, but there you have it.
Therefore, it is thought by some that the 12 disciples and Jesus, making up 13 total guests at one of the world’s worst dinner parties, began the superstition that 13 was an unlucky number and just all-round bad luck. Thanks Judas, again.
Oh and side note, Jesus was then crucified on a Friday (hence ‘Good’ Friday – which is a weird name in itself, but ok) which added an extra anxiety to the day.
2. The Knights Templar had a bad day at the office
Another potential origin of Friday 13th being unlucky is that on October 13, 1307, Philip IV of France had members of the Knights Templar arrested. Phil was super angsy at the Knights growing power, you know because they were probably strong and popular and wore matching tunics that made the ladies swoon, much like a modern day local sports team – one would imagine.
So, growing uneasy with their popularity and subsequent ‘riches’ aka probably ‘bishes’, he naturally took them to trial and had them tortured… and then burnt them at the stake. YIKES. So therefore, negative connotations around Friday 13th being a day of evil began to circulate.
3. Someone wrote a book
In 1907 a cheeky little Stockbroker (was there ever such a thing?) wrote a book called ‘Friday, the Thirteenth’ which tells the tale of a naughty stockbroker (again, who would have thought?) who picks that particular day to bring down all of Wall Street.
Legend has it that thanks to the book, real-life superstition amongst stockbrokers regarding trading on Friday 13th began to grow.
Whilst he wasn’t the first person to combine the dates, Lawson’s book is credited with popularizing the idea that Friday the 13th is real bad news. The notion gained so much traction that in 1923, New York Times stated that people “would no more buy or sell a share of stock today than they would walk under a ladder or kick a black cat out of their path.”
4. Hollywood got its wings
Take this fact as you will about the morality of Hollywood, but on Friday 13th 1923, the famous Hollywood sign was official ‘opened.’ That is all.
5. Heavy Metal was born
This is by no means a scientific fact, but according to Heavy Metal folklore, this genre of music was born on Friday, Feb 13th 1970 when Black Sabbath released their debut album.
6. Fear of Friday 13th is a thing
There is an actual name for people who are afraid of Friday 13th – paraskevidekatriaphobia. I’m not sure of what help this fact is, but it might come up in a pub quiz one day.
Ok, that was a little broad, but more specifically, the town of French Lick in Indiana in the USA, made a law in the 1930’s that all black cats in the town had to wear a bell around their neck every Friday 13th. Apparently this would negate some of the fear around the two combined superstations. I guess it worked out?
8. Americans again
Some Americans who really did have their shiz together started a club 1882 to prove that superstation is all codswallop. Members would meet on 13th of the month, at 13 past the hour and sit 13 at the dining table (ha, screw you Judas!).
They would even line open umbrellas in the dining hall and break glass like they were rich politicians who could afford to be frivolous with dinner ware – which of course they all were – to prove that no curse would befall them.
I also imagine that they absolutely refused to make eye-contact with each other whilst clinking glasses, and thus went on to have 7 years of delightful rumpy-pumpy with their mistresses.
9. There’s only 3 F13’s in a year
There cannot be more than three Friday 13th’s in any given year, so if you are super afraid of them, then it’s probably reasonably easy to avoid human contact for a maximum of 3 days of the year.
And, if you want to discover whether the month ahead will harbour one? If the month starts on a Sunday, then that bad-boy is coming to get ya.
Disclaimer, humanity is going to be fine. But allegedly, an asteroid will come pretty close to earth on Friday 13th April 2029, the last year of the approaching roaring twenties old sport, so make the most of it hey.
The asteroid, named 99942 Apophis, will give us here on earth a pretty good show as it passes us by at 18,600 miles above the ground. We’re not likely to see another one like it for another 1,000 years, so be sure to get the popcorn out.
Rather fittingly, the master of suspense and horror, Alfred Hitchcock, was born on August Friday 13th 1899. A coincidence? I think not.
12. It makes big bucks
Friday 13th is one of the most commercially successful film franchises of all time, including 12 horror movies, a TV series and several books. Whilst not critically acclaimed, the franchise has a huge following and Jason Voorhees is one of the most recognisable villains in popular culture to date.
13. It’s Rubbish!
Just to end on a happy note, and make everyone a little less anxious this Friday, there is very little evidence to suggest that Friday 13th is indeed actually an unlucky day. Various studies have shown that Friday 13th has little or no effect on events like accidents or natural disasters, so we can all rest easy tonight at least.
Thanks for reading our 13 facts about Friday 13th, we hope they’ve helped to ease you into the weekend with some relatively useless facts to use at the pub.
If you’re looking to have a lucky rest of 2019, get in touch with us today to discuss your next campaign, project or brand refresh, we’d love to hear from you!